Latest Posts

How Technology Helps A Bakery

pancakes-1512834_1280In the culinary world, baking is viewed more as a science than anything else. In order for the baker to create the perfect dish, every level of every ingredient has to be precise. Adding too much of one thing or over cooking a dish, even by an extra minute, can render almost any dish inedible. With the trick to being able to bake a good dish falling on the ability of the baker to be as precise as possible, there has been a who field of technology developed, to help make the job of the baker a little bit easier. You might be wondering how technology helps a bakery reach its full potential? This is just a brief look at the few of the ways that technology has changed the way a bakery is run.

One of the biggest tasks that a bakery is going to face, ofcourse after choosing a name, is having the ability to monitor the temperatures of all of the ovens. Having to have some run around the kitchen and manually check these temperature gauges can have a negative effect on the overall efficiency of the bakery, it also opens the possibility of human error coming into play. Having an automated system doesn’t just make your kitchen run more efficiently, it also makes it easier to maintain quality control over the goods produced by the bakery so that every thing that you put out for the public is always up to the standards that they are looking for.

treats-for-two-1315443_1280One piece of technology that has proven itself to be a staple of the modern bakery, is the POS system. Many of these systems don’t just make taking orders easier, but they offer a wide range of features that will make managing your bakery a breeze. Depending on the system that you install, you can use your mobile device to keep records of your inventory, monitor your store while you’re not there and you can even take of your social media promotions all without having to dedicate hours of your time to it. This ability to easily oversee the bakery will allow for you to focus more on creating the perfect dish instead of stressing about the everyday tasks.

These two piece of technology help a bakery by taking over some of the daily tasks that you are going to be faced with. With baking requiring the baker to be 100% accurate with everything, having some technology that can take over the more redundant and time consuming tasks, can help you increase your focus on your dishes. Being a baker is a harder job than many people may realize, but there are ways that you can incorporate technology into your bakery to make it a less stressful environment.

How Gun Lobby is Using Technology to Swerve People’s Opinion

061The majority of people are in need of safer guns. Hence many are in favor of the making of guns in a design that makes gun safer. According to several research conducted, it evident that it is to the people interest to reduce the number of gun violence using technology. It has been a public health epidemic (more than 33,000 people in America are killed annually). In a national survey done, 59% of the people said that in case they might buy a new gun, they can be interested in buying a childproof or a personalized firearm that can only be operated by the authorized owner. The Gun Lobby got it all as support is high across the political field as they are interested in buying a firearm that has safety –boosting technology. Actually 43% are of people currently owning guns are in favor, as only 24% are against it. The Gun Lobby has used technology to swerve peoples opinion in the following ways;

1) Preventing Tragedies

Gun Lobby has been equipped with smart technology that can significantly reduce misuse and accident use of the guns by the young people, which for the past years make up the greater part of five hundred plus unintended shooting deaths that occur. Having this personalized gun, kids will not be in a position to fire the gun found at their home or at a friend’s place. According to research done, shootings that involve people of different could have been avoided if the safe technology gun were being used. Smart guns can also help to curb gun suicides, which have resulted to firearm-related fatalities. Presently the young people commit suicide and in most cases they use their parents’ gun. Additionally, safe guns can stop criminals from handling a gun against its owner in case it is taken away or stolen. Also guns stolen from their owners would have no use in the illegal market that encourages gun violence. Given that most killings are done using the stolen guns, The Gun Lobby would be of help as it would be in a position of saving eleven thousand people and above who are shot with firearms annually. The Gun Lobby can help stop these tragedies, yet with no restriction on private firearm ownership.

2) Safety Sells

In spite of the efforts to block private guns from hitting the market, the outcome of a recent research showed that the National Rifle Association (NRA’s) fight hasn’t changed people opinion on the safer firearms. Many if not all still are willing to purchase this guns due to the safe technology that they have.

How To Change Time Zone Information By Using Visual Basic

Below is How to change time zone information by using Visual Basic and The best approach to execute this impact is as per the following:

1. Figure out which time zone you may intrigued to change.

2. Locate the key in the register which contains the information anticipated that would fill the TIME_ZONE_INFORMATION structure.

3. Perused in that information and weight the qualities into a variable of sort TIME_ZONE_INFORMATION.

4. Call the SetTimeZoneInformation API, passing it the TIME_ZONE_INFORMATION struct variable.

The range in the register which usually do contains timezone data/information fluctuates between Windows 9X plus Windows NT and Windows 2000.

Regulated illustration 

The code test underneath usually requires a structure with a listbox. The listbox is stacked with the conceivable time zone values that the client can choose with a double tap to change the time zone. It will demonstrate a message box that, once rejected, will change the framework settings back to their unique qualities.

1. Create another Standard EXE venture. Form1 is made as a matter of course to be able to change.

2. Now add the Listbox control to Form1.

3. Add the code to the General Declarations segment of Form1:

4. Run the system, and note that the listbox shows the majority of the accessible time zones.

5. Select a period zone, and afterward double tap it. Your framework district is changed to the choose zone. You get the accompanying message:

Time Zone Changed, Click OK to reestablish 

6. In Control Panel, double tap the Date/Time symbol. You can likewise achieve this discourse by double tapping the check in the framework plate. Click the Time Zone tab and watch that the time zone has been changed.

7. Close the Date/Time Properties discourse box and snap OK on the message box showed by your application. Rehash the past stride to affirm that the time zone

By following these steps you will be able to change time zone information by using Visual Basic comfortably and correctly.

Computer In A Fridge – Is It Possible?

Sometimes, your computer may heat up and won’t easily cool due to extreme temperatures in your room. Though it has a fan, it may not help in blowing the excessive heat produced by your computer. You may then decide to put it inside the refrigerator for a while to see if it will provide a better solution for you. See what will happen.

Computer In A Fridge – Does It Work?

Placing your computer inside a small upright freezer  can provide a small but not the best solution for cooling the CPU or motherboard of your computer. Unless your PC has a fan blowing directly into it, dismantling the fans will make the process even hotter, as PC fans always supply air to the parts that generate a lot of heat. Placing your PC inside the fridge enables the fans to suck the cold air around the fridge.

Fridges adds cold air in regions where removal of heat has taken place. With exhaust fans, the warm air generated by the computer will be sucked out of the refrigerator fridge and substituted with cool air.

The fridge’s cold temperature can’t cause any damages to your computer and can work perfectly in cooling your computer. How is it done? This is purely application of condensation.


If you have decided to apply this technique and it seems this is the only cold environment available in your place, just follow these steps:

  1. Shut down your computer.
  2. Allow it to stay for some minutes to reduce the heat rate produced by the running PC.
  3. Wrap piece of cloth or towel on it, move it into the fridge, and make sure you move it to a section that is free from humidity.
  4. After two minutes check to see if the towel is wet, if it is wet replace the cover with a new towel.
  5. Check after every five minutes to note if the towel becomes wet once again.
  6. Let it stay for about an hour.

The function of towel wrapped on your PC is to trap moisture from the fridge, it also cools provides a suitable temperature to the computer as the fridge performs its duties. Try this. Will it work? If it works then you will be lucky to safe your time money and resources.

Good luck!


Only attempt it with your OWN computer that you cannot afford to lose or if you feel you don’t need to visit computer repair shops.

A Brief History of Microsoft Products and Unicode – 32 Bit

COM in the 32-Bit World

COM made an interesting break with both operating systems: It only supports Unicode, and ANSI is just left out in the cold. If you cannot speak Unicode at some level-even if it only means supporting the MultiByteToWideChar and WideCharToMultiByte calls to convert it-, then you cannot speak to COM. With so much of even the basic functionality in the 32-bit Windows shell requiring Unicode, every application must at least do a little work in Unicode. Strings in 32-bit COM (OLESTRs and BSTRs) are always Unicode. Of course, most applications support it minimally by handling the conversion functions and using the system default codepage (CP_ACP), the one codepage guaranteed to always be supported.

Windows 98


The core operating system only added a few API calls to the list that would support both Unicode and ANSI (seen in Table 6.2).

Table 6.2 The Win32 API Calls for Which Windows 98 Added Unicode Support

API Call

What It Does


Appends one string to another


Copies a string to a buffer

However, many new interfaces were added, such as new shell extensions and integrated browsing enhancements. These are all COM interfaces and thus only support Unicode.

Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me)

Windows Me did not really add much to the equation. According to Microsoft, it is the last version of the Win9x code base that will ever ship, but, in fairness, the company has been saying this since the OSR2 release of Windows 95. The basic issues I mentioned in connection with Windows 95 and 98 apply to Windows Me.

Two sets of APIs that have had Unicode support added in Millennium are those related to the Input Method Manager (IMM) API, which I discuss further in Chapter 8, and the Geographical Information Management (Geo) API. Geo is used by many of the Windows Me components that map locale information to a geographical location.

Data Storage Engines


The engines themselves, whether SQL Server, Jet, FoxPro, or other, initially stayed away from the Unicode world, preferring the provincial world where a single codepage is all that would be needed. Although both Jet and SQL Server could do their own string normalization in many cases (see Chapter 12 for more information on this topic), it was done only for performance reasons and not to support the notion of multiple codepages in the same file. Both products were a step beyond the operating system notion of the default codepage. You could explicitly choose to use any single codepage that the OS supported, but you were still limited to a single codepage.

The more recent versions of Jet and SQL Server, however, do support Unicode as a native format: In Jet, everything was moved to Unicode; in SQL Server, you could choose between ANSI and Unicode. Other engines (such as FoxPro) have no native Unicode support at the database engine level.

Data Access Methods

Unlike the engine itself, most of the data access methods (ADO, OLE DB, DAO, and RDO) are COM components that only support Unicode. So what do data layers do when they must speak Unicode if the underlying engine does not? Well, simply speaking, they convert to and from Unicode, using either the default system codepage, or in the case of FoxPro, Jet, and SQL Server, the codepage of their choice. Obviously there is a lot of room here for conversion errors.

The move to Unicode by the data engines not only the made conversion errors usually go away (if everything can stay in one format, there is nothing to incorrectly convert!), it also improved performance because so many conversion calls went away! Chapter 12 has more information on why and where there are sometimes still problems in this area.

Microsoft Office


The popular Visual Basic author Bruce McKinney once stated, “Someday there will be Unicode data file formats, but it might not happen in your lifetime.” How wrong this turned out to be! Over the first three 32-bit versions of Office, all the major applications (Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint) have moved to both Unicode file formats and Unicode executables. Even in the world of text files (which are usually stored in ANSI format), provisions to not make assumptions about the codepage of the file have been made.

To give a specific example, this very book was written, edited, and laid out by the publisher using Word 2000. Why? Because in many cases, I wanted to support multilingual text. I did not want the publisher to use QuarkXpress, a very popular program in publishing circles, because it has the exact same limitations as I have been describing in other programs. I have had to deal with the limitations of such packages for years in the articles I have written (and Quark, Inc. definitely is a standard for many publishers), but for this book it was important to be able to treat all languages as equal. By moving to Word 2000, I am able to include Hindi text such as “आप यहाँ पर क्यों आना चाहते हैं?” or Thai text such as “ทำไมคุณถึงต้องเข้ามาชมเว็บไซต์นี้?” without requiring the use of special screenshots for each bit of text. I will discuss this further in Chapter 10, “Handling Localized Resources with Satellite DLLs.”

For the curious, translations for the previous Hindi and Thai texts are given in Table 6.3, in many languages (perhaps even yours!). These translations were produced for many of the locales used on the Web site.

Table 6.3 Look, Ma, No Bitmaps! Many Ways to Say the Same Phrase (Showing Off the Capabilities of My Publisher!)




आप यहाँ पर क्यों आना चाहते हैं?




или защо Ви трябва да идвате тук?


That is, why would you want to be here?

Simplified Chinese


Traditional Chinese



örneğin; Neden bu sitede olmayı isteyeceginiz gibi?


d.h. warum lohnt es sich, hier zu sein?


i.e., pour quelles raisons dé sirez-vous explorer ce site?


δηλαδή, γιατί θέλετε να είστε εδώ;


כלוםר למה בכלל תרצה להיות כאן?


d.w.z., waarom wilt u hier zijn?




m.a.o. vad gör du här?


porque é que tu queres estar aqui?


возможно это то, что Вам надо


ejemplo, ¿Porqué deseas estar aquí?


in altre parole, perché potreste voler visitare queste pagine?


cu alte cuvinte, de ce sunteti aici?


ஏன்நீ இஙுகு வரவேண்டு?

Windows 2000

Windows 2000, known while under development as NT5, simply continued the tradition of NT3.1, 3.51, and 4.0. It did pick up the new shell from Windows 98 and addressed many usability complaints. But, from the globalization standpoint, it moved much closer to the worldwide EXE model, throughout: There were no longer bug fixes that existed only for specific languages! Support for MUI (the MultiLanguage User Interface) proved that Windows 2000 was a worldwide operating system.

Some applications, unfortunately, are still stuck with ANSI, most notably Internet Information Server, but these applications have been clearly put on notice where they need to be heading: Unicode.

Windows CE

Yet another model was used for the smallest operating system: Windows CE is closest to COM in that it only supports Unicode at the API level. However, because there are only a limited number of applications that still do support pure Unicode and only a limited amount of space on a smaller device for codepage translation tables, Windows CE applications are still limited in the number of codepages they can use. It is clearly, however, a step in the right direction.

Visual Basic in the 32-Bit World

And at last I am to the most important RAD tool in terms of this book: the 32-bit versions of Visual Basic! There are many issues that surround Unicode support in VB:

  • VB is in many ways the quintessential COM component, and COM is pure Unicode, so much of VB is indeed Unicode. Certainly its string storage is Unicode, and any calls to interfaces that are used via CreateObject/GetObject or by referenced libraries stay Unicode throughout.
  • VB’s forms package is, unfortunately, ANSI based and had remained so for VB4, VB5, and VB6. Therefore, although all properties on VB forms have Unicode interfaces, they must be converted to ANSI, and CP_ACP is always used.
  • Many of VB’s string-handling functions are actually wrappers around operating system calls that normalize strings. Therefore, they will support Unicode on Windows NT and Windows 2000, but will not on Windows 95 and Windows 98. This was partially mitigated in VB6, in which a Compare argument was added to many of these functions, allowing users to specify an LCID (VB would extract a codepage from the LCID to use for these operations).
  • Because VB wanted to keep all worries about matters such as ANSI or Unicode from developers, a syntax for declaring outside API calls with both types of strings was not specified. However, the entire Windows API under Windows 95/98 is ANSI! Therefore, VB developers made the “backward compatibility” decision to always convert VB’s Unicode strings to ANSI in declare statements. (This is true for both inbound and outbound parameters in the ByVal String case but only for inbound parameters in the ByRef String case, an issue described further in the next chapter.) As you have probably noticed, this is not for backwards compatibility with prior VB versions; it is more for backward compatibility with all the existing libraries you might want to call, including the Windows API.
  • VB source files are basically text files, and they are ANSI text files. The best thing I was able to do for multiple language support for samples in the book was to make sure that the files themselves and all of the information in them was in US English, as that is the only language guaranteed to work everywhere. The exception to this rule is several of the files in the next chapter.
  • Because most text and other files are saved as ANSI, all the file I/O functions in VB that deal with strings are once again handled the same way: Always convert the functions to ANSI, and, because there is no provision for choosing how conversions will happen, always use CP_ACP, the default system codepage. There is a means for completely avoiding all such conversions, however: a binary version of all the file i/o statements that does no extra conversions. To use this method, you would use InputB instead of Input, Write# instead of Print#, and, of course, open the file for binary I/O.
  • As another partially mitigating feature, Visual Basic always supports explicitly converting strings to byte arrays and byte arrays to strings. You can use byte arrays in many cases when you want to pass information that is a Unicode string but do not want Visual Basic to convert it to ANSI for you. (This feature is used quite a bit in the next two chapters.)

    Of course, the order in which I have presented these points would lead anyone to believe the final answer to the question “Is VB Unicode?” would be “Yes, but…”, and maybe that is the best answer to give. Visual Basic is indeed Unicode with its Unicode string storage and Unicode interfaces, but as the data engines and access methods learned, there is a lot more to supporting Unicode then making sure the front door supported it, especially if you want to get the benefits of Unicode. If you think about it, Visual Basic forms gain nothing from their Unicode interfaces, nothing at all. Why is that? Well, when they are used, a single codepage is required. Therefore, the only thing that the Unicode interfaces of the forms package gives VB is compatibility with COM; none of the benefits inherent in Unicode, such as being able to support many languages/locales, are available here.

A Brief History of Microsoft Products and Unicode – 16 Bit

The following is not meant to be an exhaustive look at the topic of Unicode, or the ISO-10646 standard that Unicode now tries to match character for character. It is meant to give a historical context to help explain where Visual Basic and other Microsoft products are in relation to Unicode-and hopefully where they are heading, as well. This history will cover most of the high points, and might be more functional than chronological. Where to start? Well, at the beginning, of course…

16-Bit Windows (Windows 3.0, 3.1, and 3.1x)


Windows was developed in the United States of America, by an American company, Microsoft. Unicode was not even an understood term at the time, so it’s not surprising that none of the 16-bit Windows operating systems spoke Unicode. There were some forward-looking people at Microsoft, who were looking to international markets, notably markets such as Japan. This did cause Microsoft to begin thinking beyond codepage 1252 and into the Japanese and other Asian codepages. The expense of globalization and localization was not as well understood, but the requirements of the Japanese market were very clear, clear enough that Microsoft jumped in with the intention of localization.

However, localization at this stage was very primitive and involved U.S. developers “throwing their code over the fence” to the Japanese developers and then having them make the changes the product required and testing those changes. Unfortunately, those developers and testers made as many mistakes as their original counterparts, and these versions of the products were not supersets that could handle all languages, but subsets that just as often were broken for handling data that would work in the original version.

Thus localization existed, but globalization was relatively unknown. Because each locale simply kept to itself and cross-codepage interoperability was not a requirement, this caused no major problems for anyone.

COM in the 16-Bit World

COM did not really understand Unicode much better, for much the same reasons. In fact, the Component Object Model did not really embrace the importance of language/locale at all. It worked under the same assumption that it was good enough to work within the current system’s default codepage.

Visual Basic in the 16-Bit World

VisualBasicLogoEarly versions of Visual Basic worked under the same rules as other 16-bit applications. But, by the time Visual Basic 3.0 arrived, it was clear that a better way of dealing with software in general was needed to bring down the costs and improve the quality of products that needed to be sold in other countries. However, Visual Basic has always been very much based on the platform on which it sits, and without support from the foundation, the house is simply not going to be built in such a direction. So VB 3.0 stayed where it was, but people were looking forward, toward Windows New Technology, or Windows NT.

Windows NT


David Cutler’s second operating system (the first was for Digital) was built with the future in mind, and the important aspect for us is Windows NT’s full support for Unicode. The entire operating system was written from the ground up with the idea that a Unicode Kernel and Unicode support was the most important method of getting to the operating system. This was met with skepticism, as most people simply saw twice as big as a real problem in an era when memory and hard drive space were at such premiums, but Mr. Cutler really was looking to the future. The “Unicode” he chose was UCS-2, the worldwide standard encapsulated by ISO-16046 that defined every character in terms of two bytes. The US English locale still had the “positional” advantage of being in the first 127 characters, but it no longer had the advantage over the Asian languages of taking up less space.

At the same time, reality crept in, and it became obvious that no one could move to a platform that did not support the “old way” of doing things. Therefore, ANSI would be supported for the sake of backward compatibility, and to enable all the existing applications to keep working (mostly). All the Win32 APIs that took strings now had two versions: an “A” version for multibyte character systems such as English, Dutch, Japanese, , and a “W” version that would use Unicode. At compile time, you would choose which set of APIs to use by choosing whether to compile with the Unicode flag, for example, deciding whether the GetWindowLong call in your C/C++ code would be calling GetWindowLongA or GetWindowLongW. You could always choose to call one or the other explicitly, but you were encouraged not to. In theory, it would be easy for you to simply flip a switch one day and be in Unicode!

And why would they do this? Well, first, there was the obvious strength of a worldwide EXE (which even Windows NT did not yet have because many of its own core applications were not yet as enlightened as the Kernel-to the extent that a Kernel can be considered enlightened!). Second, any time you were dealing directly with Unicode, all your operations would be faster because no extra translations between ANSI and Unicode would be needed. People learned very quickly that the SDK documentation claims were accurate- MultiByteToWideChar and WideCharToMultiByte functions could slow down an application.

One of the hidden features of MultiByteToWideChar and WideCharToMultiByte was, of course, that codepage tables had to exist to assist in the conversion of strings between Unicode and any codepage, and vice versa. Supporting a given language in a world where most applications were not really using Unicode internally meant supporting the codepage, as well.

Windows 95


Windows 95 was born under slightly different principles: It was, in many ways, a port of the original 16-bit Win 3.x codebase (just as most of the applications were, even under Windows NT). It was originally intended to fully support the same Win32 API as Windows NT, although in most cases the “W” versions of the API functions simply return an ERROR_CALL_NOT_IMPLEMENTED or E_NOTIMPL error. The limited number of Win32 API calls designed to support both Unicode and ANSI under Windows 95/98 are seen in Table 6.1.

Table 6.1 The Win32 API Calls That Support Unicode Under All Platforms

API Call

What It Does


Enumerates the languages supported by a specified resource name/type in a given module


Enumerates all the resources of a specified type in a given module


Enumerates all the resource types in a given module


Writes a character string out to a specified location, optionally enabling parameters beyond what TextOut supports


Finds a resource of a specified name and title


Finds a resource of a specified name and title, allowing a language to be specified


Retrieves the width of specified characters


Retrieves the command line string for the current process


Computes the width and height of a given text string (provided for backward compatibility, GetTextExtentPoint32 is recommended)


Computes the width and height of a given text string


Returns the length of a null-terminated string


Creates, displays, and operates a message box.


Creates, displays, and operates a message box, allowing the user to specify a language for the predefined buttons


Converts a multibyte string to a Unicode one, given the codepage with which to do the conversion


Writes a character string out to a specified location


Converts a Unicode string to a multibyte one, given the codepage with which to do the conversion

Clearly, it can be challenging to write a Unicode application for Windows 95 or 98 given such a sparse set of tools. However, at first, the idea was that you would later simply compile as a Unicode application for Windows NT and be done with it; only later did the need to support Unicode applications on Windows 95/98 become clear.

Visual Basic – Is It ANSI or Unicode?

Logo_VBThe question of whether Visual Basic is ANSI or Unicode is a trick question. The only answer someone could ever possibly give is yes and no, or more accurately, the answer depends on the meaning of the question. Perhaps delving a little more deeply into the history would help give the question enough meaning that the answer of “It depends” will at least feel a little less unsatisfying.

ANSI = ~Unicode = MBCS

One important definition has already been discussed: when I refer to Unicode here I am using the Microsoft notion of UCS-2/UTF-16. Another that I have not discussed is that of the non-Unicode strings. Although these are usually referred to as multibyte (which will cover all the other codepages, including the DBCS codepages that will use two bytes and UTF-8 that will use 1-5 bytes, and so on), many people also refer to them as being “ANSI.” This is largely for historical reasons, but there is a modern basis for this misused term: All the multibyte Windows APIs have an “A” suffix on them, the “A” standing for ANSI. An example would be the FindWindow API, which takes strings for a window class, a window caption, or both. The FindWindowA API exists on all Win32 operating systems and accepts strings that can be represented by the default system codepage. The FindWindowW API exists only on Windows NT and Windows 2000 and accepts Unicode strings.

My personal preference would have been to call the “A” APIs the ~Unicode APIs (meaning the “not Unicode” APIs), but the tilde character is not one that would be valid in identifiers. This would be confusing, to say the least!

The issue of using and calling Unicode versus non-Unicode APIs is one that I will be discussing a little later in this chapter and extensively in Chapters 7, “Understanding the Codepage Barrier,” and 8, “Handling VB Forms and Formats.”